Author Topic: Sam Watches Anime  (Read 27265 times)

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Watches Anime
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2014, 11:40:42 AM »
Paranoia Agent



1 Enter Lilí Slugger

Tsukiko Sagi (Mamiko Noto) is a designer of plush toy characters. She becomes famous overnight when she crafts the adorable Maromi, a pink dog. However, the success of Maromi places a lot of creative pressure on her and as the higher-ups press her for a new hit design. She finds herself on the brink of emotionally breaking when, on her way home one day, she is attacked by a figure she describes as a young boy with a baseball bat. Detectives Maniwa (Toshihiko Seki) and Ikari (Shozo Iizuka) begin investigating the case while reporter Kawazu (Kenji Utsumi) starts stalking Tsukiko to get more info on the assailant.

While a lot of this episode is setup for the series, right off the bat the series jumps into the subjectivity of perception. A Maromi plush often comes to life and animates in front of Tsukiko and they have conversations. Maromi becomes this soft, comforting figure to Tsukiko as she is caught up the the pressures of  expectation. Itís a technique that really sets the tone that the show is just as interested in the interior lives of the characters as much as it is concerned with the plight of their exterior circumstances.



2 The Golden Shoes

Taira Yuuichi (Mayumi Yamaguchi), or Ichi as everyone calls him, is the most popular kid in the sixth grade. He has the best grades, does great in sports, and is a cool cat. However, when word gets out that the assailant known as Shonen Bat wears a red hat and golden skates, all the kids suspect Ichi is the mystery attacker. A game of bullying begins and Ichi begins attributing these acts to Uchiyama Shougo (Makoto Tsumura), the kid who is competing against him for student council president. As Uchiyama tries to reach out as a friend, Ichiís hatred of him only grows.

This episode is a masterful demonstration in tone. The episode plays Ichiís fall in broad, comedic tones. When Ichiís pride leads him to unironically says ďIím so cool,Ē watching the gradual downfall becomes humorous. While it is at Ichiís expense, the show also exposes how Ichi is a very conceited and arrogant character who needs to be taken down a notch.

Further exploring the interiority of characters, this episode is peppered with many of Ichiís daydreams. Here, exposing the deep desires of Ichi reveals his hatred of Ushiyama is to the point of wanting him to be killed by Shonen Bat. But more than that, he also wants to capitalize on the potential death of Ushiyama, exposing the cruelty of this kidís heart. And when Shonen Bat ends up attacking both Ushiyama and Ichi, the kid finds his wish-fulfilment has been achieved, just not quite as he expected.



3-Double Lips

Strands of Perfect Blue weave themselves into this episode. By day, Chono Harumi (Kotono Mitsuishi) is a research assistant at Jiai University. At night, her alter ego takes over and she becomes Maria, a high-end prostitute. When a colleague proposes to Chono, she tries to shove Maria out of her life, throwing out her clothing, but soon finds the gaps in her memories and evidence left behind suggest that Maria is only growing more defiant as Chono tries to take full control.

These competing personalities allow for a great visual contrast between the two identities. Chono dresses in plain, muted colors in professional business wear: skirts that go past the knees a blouse and a pants suit. In contrast, Maria wear short skirts or thin dresses with plunging neck lines. She also alternates wearing wigs with bright colors and puts on a lot of makeup.

As Chono and Maria compete, the episode explores a modern tension of identity: is a person who they are publicly and professionally or the dark secrets they try to repress and hide? Or ar they simply two separate people who cannot be reconciled. Once again, the show delves into issues of identity and perception. As Maria and Chono battle it out one night in the streets, Shonen Bat strikes again.



4 A Manís Path

Masami Hirukawa (Toshihiko Nakajima) is a crooked cop with a taste for women, (in fact, heís one of Mariaís clients). At the same time, he spends his bribe money on building a new house for his wife and daughter, claiming that heís a family man. However, when he ends up owing the Yakuza money, he begins another life as a thief. Reaching the end of his rope in a dark alley, he begins crying out for someone to stop him. However, when Shonen arrives, Masami ends up taking him down and arresting him.

Once again, the episode explores the secret lives of people. Masamiís cry for help in the last act of the episode brings up an interesting idea: Is Shonen Bat a dark savior to these people? So far, his attacks seem to have relieved people of some sort of burden: the pressure of creativity, the weight of gossip, the demons of a past identity.

Iíd also like to talk about the design of the character of Shonen Bat. The most striking feature is the crooked bat, a twisted instrument. The red cap and golden skates also give a splash of color to the otherwise dark and brooding character, a demonstration of the childish characteristics Shonen Bat. But itís the sadistic, chilling smile that makes Shonen Bat such a memorable figure. Also, the fact that his motives are still unknown makes him a dark mystery that is both off-putting and compelling, something that should revulse us but also makes us morbidly curious.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 01:10:46 PM by Sam the Cinema Snob »

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Re: Sam Watches Anime
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2014, 01:29:52 PM »
I don't think we've ever been more in sync.

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Re: Sam Watches Anime
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2014, 03:35:42 PM »
Death Note



21 Performance

This episode shit goes down in the bathroom scene. Rem reveals herself to Misa by touching her with a page from the Death Note. Wait, Shinigami can now interact with the physical realm? The show is flagrantly bending the rules. You just have to go with it at this point, I guess. Anyway, Rem reveals that Light was Kira and that Higuchi (Issei Futamata) is now the new Kira. 

Misa decides to do her own investigating and pretend to date Higuchi even though Light tells her not to. What could possibly go wrong? Misa bluffs that sheís second Kira, gets Higuchi to reveal heís Kira, she kills a criminal. How? Wuut? This is never explained, but I guess maybe Rem gave Misa the page she touched her with. Misa convinces Higuchi to stop killing to prove heís Kira. This is quite a good episode of twists if you can get past how it keeps making up rules. Misa reveals New Kiraís identity to the team.



22 Guidance

L realizes that he will have a hard time deducing the method of killing if Kira stops killing criminals. L says that heís pretty sure Light used to be Kira, but doesnít remember it. L think there must be some way to transfer the power or someone or something is behind that power. Light seems to agree and says he must have given the power to someone else. They create a plan to air the identity of Kira, to force Higuchi to kill, see how he does it. It involves putting Matsuda on the line. This was an episode of Death Note.



23 Frenzy

Higuchi is in the process of tracking down Matsudaís real name as the broadcast continues. Light and L see Higuchi talking to someone in his empty car. L says it must be a shinigami. Light and L miss that Higuchi writes the name in the Death Note. Is it so simple that theyíre too smart to see it. Decides he has to make the deal for the Shinigami eyes when he canít get Matsudaís real name. L figures out he can now kill by just looking at someone.

L decides itís time to bring Higuchi in. Lures him to TV station, a gunfight chase ensues, then a car chase. Then Watari snipes out Higuchiís tire. What a badass. This is one of the more action-jammed episodes of the show and some pretty cray stuff happens. The past couple of episodes have been tense, but episode is much more action than plot.



24 Revival

Higuchi reveals that he kills by the Death Note, the people who see the Death Note see Rem and start freaking out. L sees it and when Light gets the book, he gets all his memories of Death Note back. See how Light switched the books up between the shinigami so he could get his book back eventually. Letís make up more rules! So apparently Light only has memories of Death Note when holding a Death Note unless itís his own. But it hardly matters because it turns out Light had bit of his book stashed away in his watch that he remembers when holding the Death Note so when he sees the page he remembers everything all the time.

We also discover that Light made a fake rule that if a person doesnít use the note every 13 days, they die. But if thatís true, why did Higuchi ever agree to stop killing? Or did he just lie and plan to kill secretly. L clears Light and Misa based on this erroneous rule. Light is back to his evil plan.Tells Misa where to dig up her old book and she regains her memory and power.

He left a note that tells Misa to right Lís name in the book, but she canít remember it. Has seen too many names and dates. Misa halves her life again to get the shinigami eyes. Light and Misa have their Shinigami swapped. Oh yea, Light saying he wants to live with Misa in new world. But we see as he embraces her that his eyes are glowing evil red and Ryuk is casting an ominous shadow behind him. This is more of the Death Note I wanted. Itís good to have evil Light back.



25 Silence

What a weird opening. Iím guessing we see L as a child at an orphanage. We also see that someone watching an old film. Itís ambiguous and atmospheric in a way that we only see occasionally in this show. Add in that crazy, vocal music and itís quite a haunting scene. This is soon followed by a quiet scene of Misa walking through the streets as the names sheís written kill people. Another astounding scene has Light and L talking in the haze of a rainstorm, audio cutting out at key points. I love the the quietness of this episode. Itís a soft, unnerving episode for most of its runtime.

Light sets Rem up to have to kill L in order to protect Misa from all the bodies sheís just dropping that will lead L to her. Seems simpler for Misa just to see Lís name, but it does get rid of Rem for Light, so it makes sense and is quite clever. L decides to get a criminal to use the Death Note to test the 13 days rule, which will of course implicate Misa. Rem kills Watari and L. Wow. Light won. Light vows to the team that he will avenge the deaths of Watari and Land find out who Kira is.



26 Renewal

Episode begins with 12 minutes of recap of the whole show. Iíll be honest, I skipped it. Light pretends that he doesnít want to be L. But then realizes how easy it is to get what he wants, says itís no fun without L. His father will be the one to hide the Death Note. Also, Light and Misa are going to move in together. Truly this is the darkest possible future. Oh yea, and Light is going to shuffle in his new world order. He starts covering Kiraís tracks by killing tons of people. At this point, Iím bummed that the Light/L dynamic is gone and I worry that the show is going to have a hard time continuing from here. Honestly, the last episode could have been a good, albet abrupt, end to the show. The Light/L dynamic fueled the conflict of the show and now thereís no tension.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Watches Anime
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2014, 11:56:33 AM »
Paranoia Agent



5 The Holy Warrior

Detectives Ikari and Maniwa finally get their hands on Shonen Bat, or Makoto Kozuka (Daisuke Sakaguchi). He confesses to the attacks and when the cops press him on why he attacked them, Makoto begins to explain that heís in a war with Gohma, a powerful being who has possessed his victims. It turns out Makoto is under some delusion that his entire life is a role playing game and that heís a valiant knight vanquishing evil from the world.

First off, this episode becomes a fun romp where Satoshi Kon and company get to take the piss out of Japanese fantasy stories by playing up their absurdity.  Maniwa plays along with Makoto, pretending to be part of his delusion, but Ikari thinks the whole thing is a joke. As the two detectives interrogate the kid, the entire thing is rendered as if they are actually traversing his psyche, venturing in this fantasy world Makoto has created for himself. It lends itself to some fun, crazy imagery that takes full advantage of the power of animation and itís ability to render things from one's imagination that could never exists in reality.

Makotoís fantasy world also excellently demonstrates another one of the rich themes of Paranoia Agent. Each character in the show is trying to reinterprets reality in order to place themselves in a more favorable light. For some characters, itís creating a reality in which they are the sympathetic victim. For Makoto, itís putting himself in the role of a lone hero who is the only one who can detect the secret evil in the world. Of course, by trying to displace his or herself from the evil that they enact, each character suffers from a fragmentation of identity.



6 Fear of a Direct Hit

Makotoís delusion does point Ikari and Maniwa to the Old Lady (Hisako Kyoda) who witnessed the attack on Tsukiko. The way the two detectives interact with the Old Lady contrasts their divergent approaches. Ikari is older and a bit cranky, and he wants to get to the point. As the old lady rambles, he gets angrier until he ends up shaking an answer out of her. Ikari, younger and more idealistic, is a bit slower and more sympathetic, trying to understand as much as get to the truth. The Old Lady reveals that there was no one else with Tsukiko. The detectives confront Tsukiko with this new evidence.

Running parallel to this story is the tale of Taeko, daughter of Masami, the crooked cop who brought down Shonen Bat. She discovers a horrible secret in the new house, one that shakes her to her core, and she wanders through the streets during a storm when sheís attacked by Shonen Bat. When she wakes up, she has no memory of the traumatic event or her father. This reinforces ideas of Shonen Bat as a dark angel and that his judgment becomes a way for characters to reinterpret his or her reality. In this instance, a character must forget herself entirely to cope with the world.

Itís interesting that the show suggest so quickly that Shonen Bat might not be responsible for all of the attacks. Itís the midway point of the show and it seems a bit too early for such a reveal, something that might be a good last arc. It also suggests that Makoto may not be behind all of the attacks since heís in prison when this attack happens. Even though each episode shifts the main focus, itís moving the overall plot quickly and Iím a bit worried that the show is moving towards resolving the core mystery too soon.



7 MHz

In light of the events of the previous episode, Maniwa begins investigating the connections between the victims, trying to reconcile the idea that there might be multiple Shonen Bats. When pressed again, Makoto confesses that he only attacked two of the victims. As Maniwa gets deeper and deeper into the case, he finds himself coming closer to the brink of desperation, realizing that the victims all felt cornered themselves before being attacked. Even the people investigating these incidents become yet another dimension of the psychological stress bearing down on these characters.

The last scene is worth talking about at length as itís a game-changer. Once Maniwa makes the desperation connection, he realizes that Makoto is in danger. When he and Ikari go to find him, they discover Makoto has been brutally murdered and Shonen Bat appears, a chilling specter that simply slides his way through the jail walls. Shonen Bat is not a person, but some sort of supernatural being.

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Re: Sam Watches Anime
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2014, 04:55:07 PM »
Now, I'm liking your readings better. This early middle section was a letdown for me from the opening episodes, because they were so tightly imagined. With these episodes everything is spun out into a splatter until it's upside down on itself, leaving me little to grasp. You seemed fine because while the narrative dove into a fog, the ideas that came out of this approach quadrupled.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Watches Anime
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2014, 05:23:02 PM »
Yea, for me this is an ideas heavy series so I can get where people might get frustrated with how it so quickly goes off into the deep end, but Kon is mining this concept for all its worth which makes each episode feel so rich and deep.

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Re: Sam Watches Anime
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2014, 10:36:46 AM »
Death Note



27 Abduction

In the last episode we saw two teens contacted about the death of L. In this episode, we discover that they are Mello (Nozomu Sasaki) and Near (Noriko Hidaka). One of them must succeed L and both agree that it should be the younger, more reserved and clinically cold Near. Mello concedes he is too hot-headed and storms off on his own. Near gathers evidence for 3 years on Kira and goes to the FBI. In a lot of ways, Near is a younger version of L.

One indication of the passage of time is that Sayu Yagami (Haruka Kudo), Lightís sister, is now a young adult. Matsuda makes a comment and then everyone starts making awkward statements about how Matsuda shouldnít try to date her. Awkward. Anyway, all this nervous tension gets broken by the police director getting kidnapped by the Yakuza. They demanded that the Death Note be traded for the directorís life. Turns out Mellow is working with the Yakuza. Light kills the director with the second Death Note. In response, the Yakuza kidnaps Sayu. Itís then that Light is contacted by Near under the guise of N. Near reveals he knows Light is the second L.

Iím not sure how I feel about this new setup. It seems like we might have too many players on the field. Thereís now a three way battle between L/Light/Kira, Near/N and Mello. I do like that the story is hitting Light closer to home. Having his Dad investigate Kira in the past did a good job, but it feels like this arc is going to shove itself even more into Lightís personal life.



28 Impatience

Turns out the Yakuza have Sayu in LA, so everyone is going to LA...even Misa. Mr. Yagami gets intercepted by the Yakuza and put on a different flight that the badguys have hijacked. They drop him off in the middle of the desert. Heís put in a position where he has to trade the book or Sayu will die. Light considers killing his sister, but canít go through with it. Itís a line heís not willing to cross. Are there lines that Kira wonít cross to reach his new world?

The exchange is made and then the book is sent via an untraceable missile. Realy? Death Note can get over the top and the book itself is supernatural, but sending the book via missile seems a bit too much even for this show. Once Mello gets his hands on the book, he kills off most of Nís agents. N believes Mellow is racing him for Kira. Also, a Shinigami named Sidoh comes to earth because he wants to get his book back from Ryuk, the book the Yakuza.


29 Father

Shinigami Sidoh drops in on the mafia since itís his Death Note and itís quite funny to see their reactions. Light decides heís gonna give up ownership of his Death Note again. Kira is going to kill a bunch of mafia people, give up the hideout, but Mr. Yagami wants to make the eye deal to make sure they wonít get set up and use the moment when Kira kills them all to move into the hideout. Mr. Yagami threatens Mello since he can see his name, but he hesitates to write his name. Mello blows up the building.

Once Mr. Yagami is in the hospital recovering, we discover that Light gave up the book so his dad could see his lifespan and clear him as Kira. Mr. Yagami dies before he can write Melloís name in the book. Mr. Yagamiís death is the only time Light has shown any true humanity. Light gives Sidoh the book. Ryuk saying Mr. Yagami must have died happy knowing his son wasnít Kira. Damn, thatís cold.



30 Justice

N believes new L and Kira are the same person. As Kiraís world moves forward, people begin posting names of the evil online so Kira will kill them, some become afraid to give names to the police. Also, a cult called Kiraís Kingdom emerges. Now the United States says it will not stand in the way of Kira. Matsuda says he doesnít believe Kira is pure evil, but that through good intentions, though bad means, he has made the world safer, even if its out of fear.

Mello shows up at Nearís place to get his photo. Mello tells Near that the notebook is a Shinigami notebook. Both are competing to get Kira. Near approaches L about the rule, Ryuk says the 13 day rule is legit. N realizes that Kira must be there and making the Shinigami lie about the fake rule. N says heíll write Melloís name in the book and take the 13 day risk. When the task force rejects using the book, N says he believes the new L and Kira are the same person. Light uses the President to begin hunting for Near. People begin to gather in mobs around the building Near is at and try to break in.

This is the first episode in a long time thatís looks at the larger implications of how Kira is shaping the world. It also once again contemplates some of the morality behind Kiraís methods. However, this episode also follows the death of Mr. Yagami and it doesnít make much of an impression on any of the characters. Itís a fatal flaw of the show that death seems to have very little impact on the story.



31 Transfer

N is under siege by a mob. His solution: dump money on the mob. While N is fighting for good, heís not above preying on the greed of people to save his skin. Police show up to riot gear and N and his crew walk out as swat officers. N tells the crew that the new L has to be Kira. Aizawa calls N but wonít give up Light and Misa. N figures out itís Light anyway.

After this episode, I think I have to say that Death Note might be a better show post L. I know that seems like a crazy thought, itís clear that the conflict isnít as elegant as the first two thirds of the show, but so far these episodes have done a better job of encompassing the wider world and the implications of Kira. You have Kiraís Kingdom claiming to be the voice of Kira, building a temple to welcome Kira when itís simply lead by an opportunist. In light of this, Light has Misa send her book to Teru Mikami (Masaya Matsukaze), a Kira fanatic, who kills the Kiraís Kingdom leaders.



32 Selection

This episode opens by exploring the psyche that leads to Kira complex by looking at Mikamiís past. He Splits the world into a simplistic good vs. evil dichotomy, he has a heavy sense of justice and offers no mercy to evil-doers. Mikami believes he must delete evil, that it canít be reformed from people once they are adults. By day, heís a prosecutor. Kira is his god. One of Lightís old girlfriends, Kiyomi Takada (Maaya Sakamoto), becomes the new voice of Kira, a more professional voice. Light says they should investigate her to find Kira.

Light begins leading Kiyomi on, seems quite cruel. She gets a call from ďKira.Ē when he talks to Mikami reveals in code that heís Kira. Rips out the wires set up by the cops in order to try to gain Kiyomiís trust, but actually reveals that heís Kira. Sheís into it. Oh great, another woman that is into psychopaths. Kira says she will be his goddess of the new world.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 10:40:27 AM by Sam the Cinema Snob »

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Watches Anime
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2014, 08:39:45 AM »
Paranoia Agent



8 Happy Family Planning

This is one of the most delightful things Iíve experienced. Three people who met online form a pact to commit suicide together. Thereís the elderly Fuyubachi (Kiyoshi Kawakubo), the youthful Zebra (Yasunori Matsumoto) and the extremely young girl Kamome-kun (Mina Tominaga). Both Fuyubachi and Zebra spend the episode trying to shake Kamome-kun since theyíre freaked out that sheís so young. Their suicide attempts keep failing hilariously. Along the way they also decide to live large since they plan on dying anyway.

Part of what makes this episode so funny is the tone. Suicide is a dark subject, but the story just strikes the right level of absurd to make the episode darkly hilarious. The constantly failed attempts to shake off Kamome-kun as well as the ways in which their suicides hilariously backfire is a wonderful blend of morbid and light-hearted humor. The timing is impeccable. The train gag and the gag in the forest finds just the right moment to make the unexpected happen.

Also, for an episode about a suicide pact, the story becomes a celebration of life and friendship as the characters begin to bond and grow through their hardships and festivities. They decide to live fully and richly for their last days on earth and in the process begin to experience so much joy together that by the end of the episode they suddenly find the prospect of life joyous. Itís a beautiful, heartwarming episode that grows from such a dark and morbid subject.

Shonen Bat does show up as the group chases him down begging to be killed, but this begins a series of episodes that are less about the overarching plot and more one-offs that allow for interesting, self-contained stories.



9 ETC

A group of gossipy women share a number of stories about people encountering Shonen Bat. Itís a fun little montage of stories and plays up the idea that Shonen Bat has become such a legendary tale that he no longer exists simply in the realm of reality, but now has all number of fantasies being constructed around him as an idea. In terms of exemplifying the idea of Shonen Bat, this is probably the most effective episode.

Thereís also a funny gag where the wife of a screenwriter tries to make up similar tall-tells but ends up making the worst conceived stories. The whole thing ends with her returning home to find her husband has been attacked. Instead of worrying about his well-being, she begs for details of the attack. It highlights our fascination with the gruesome details of the assailantís acts over the well-being of the victims.



10 Mellow Maromi

A group of animators making a cartoon about Maromi begin to have members of their crew picked off one by one by Shonen Bat as they crack under the strain of an accelerated work schedule. This episode playfully slips between the story and a fourth-wall breaking meta-commentary by Maromi about the various functions and roles of the crew. Itís another piece that makes an elegant tonal balance. Itís got a childish, edutainment feel to the commentary that clashes with the horror story of Shonen Bat hunting down the crew. Somehow, the Maromi bits are wry enough to work with the darker elements.

Itís a cool episode because it gives the audience some actual education into how a show like this would be made, but also ends up having some of the most chilling scenes of the show. The entire episode is framed as production coordinator Saruta Naayuki remembering the events of the past week as he drives in the rain to deliver the first episode to the studio to air. The driving scene itself is chilling with Shonen Bat beginning to tail Saruta at one point. Another chilling scene is when Saruta goes to an apartment to pick up some drawings and gathers the notes as the animator he assumes is passed out lies dead on her desk.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Watches Anime
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2014, 11:22:50 AM »
Death Note



33 Scorn

N heads to Tokyo and tells L that they should meet face to face. N says the easiest way to end this is to kill Kira and the person who has his book, but thatís not how he does things. Unlike Kira, N is just as concerned with the means of justice as their ends. Kira gets Mikami to send 5 pages to Takada, make a fake notebook, and pretend to keep killing. Not quite sure what Kira has up his sleeve, but itíll be interesting to see.

Misa and Takada have dinner together. Itís a strange scene, in part because it feels so out of league with the kind of material Death Note generally provides. A lot of the relational conflict stuff feels forced in this show. However, the animation in this sequence is quite great. The window lets in some great lighting and it looks fantastic. Takada discovers that Misa no longer remembers that Light is Kira. Takada ends up dissing Misaís childishness and Misa gets wasted. Okaaaaay...that was a scene of Death Note.



34 Vigilance

N has now confirmed the identity of all the players now that he understands how Mikami and Takada fit into the mix. Kira reveals Misa was just his tool. Light makes it sound like he and Takada are planning to have Kira arrested. Aizawa finds out that that theyíre passing notes during the meetings. He meets Near and tells him. N tells Aizawa and the taskforce to stay out of the way, that their job now is just to watch L. N takes Mochi and Misa into custody. N gets closer by getting photos of Mikamiís Death Note.



35 Malice

The opening scene is a beautiful, quiet montage opening. It does a great job of conveying a sense of the passage of time without using words. Light believe heís won before N even contacts him about the meet, it must be part of the secret plan he worked out. N and Light set up the meet, but N expects Light will launch a plan. Death Note gets into its crazy editing mode as both declare they know the otherís plan in their mind. Of course the wild card is Mello who ends up kidnapping Takada while she has the pages of the Death Note. She writes his name on the note as theyíre driving. When the Tokyo team gets word of her kidnapping, Kira kills her before they get to her with the note in his watch. Worst. Boyfriend. Ever.



36 1.28

In the wake of Takadaís death, everyone is clamoring to be Kiraís new representative. N confirms that the meeting is still on. Itís yet another example of how quick this show is to forget about the death of its characters. At least this episode makes it a little bit of a consideration. With the meet looming, Kira plans on killing everyone who knows about the Death Note once it all goes down. Thereís some great animation again as the Tokyo team drives through rain on the way to the meet and enters the warehouse as washed out light floods them. Of course N wears a mask when they arrive. After they stand and wait for 30 minutes, N removes the mask.

N reveals that heís waiting for the man who has the Death Note to come and kill them all. N reveals that heís replaced the pages so no one will die. Says the person who isnít written in the book is Kira. But L knew N knew about the book and switched it out with the real one. Takada was the one writing in a fake book so they would tamper with the fake book. Light is on the verge of laughing once he realized heís won. Mikamai comes in and reveals heís written everyoneís names and Light says heís won in the last moments of the episode. 

Death Noteís animation is at its best when itís either overbearingly atmospheric or edited together in a shaky, intense style. This episode deals out both styles of animation in spades with possibly some of the best frames of the show.



37 New World

No one dies. All the names are written in Mikamiís book except Lightís name. Light loses it, says he doesnít know Mikami. N reveals he also switched out the real Death Note when he discovered the Death Note was a fake. Said he could see Ryuk the whole time since he touched the real Death Note so he knew he had won. Mikami went to the bank to write Melloís name in the real book in the safe when Takada was kidnapped by Mello. Mello was actually working with N at the end, sacrificed himself so they could bring down Kira.

The style of this episode is intense, takes the shaky effect for the maximum dose of Death Note. Wash out all the images. Now caught, Kira says heís already the leader of the world now, are they really going to kill him? Kira tries to write a name in the note in his watch, Matsuta shoots him. Threatens to kill him. Mikami kills himself. Light runs out of the warehouse as the chaos of Mikamiís death confuses everyone. His crew goes after him to finish the job. But Ryuk gets to him first. Ryuk writes his name in the book as Kira finds himself on the stairs of a warehouse. Ryukís final words are as good a line to describe my experience with Death Note: ďWeíve eased each otherís boredom for a while. Itís been quite fun.Ē

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Watches Anime
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2014, 09:47:25 AM »
Paranoia Agent



11 No Entry

After the last set of episodes that served as a series of interludes from the main plot, the series returns to the core events of Shonen Bat. Misae (Melodee Spevack), Ikariís wife, faces Shonen Bat when she reaches the end of her rope. However, instead of becoming his victim, she spends the episode keeping him in check as she teeters on the edge of despair, recounting the events of her marriage and the growing sense of emptiness in the past few months.

So far, Shonen Bat has been attacked to certain kinds of people, those who want some kind of release, but this episode shows that the victim has some power over Shonen Bat. They must want to be a victim in order for Shonen Bat to be able to attack them. Here, Misae spend the episode frankly looking at her situation, but also finds a place for hope and strength that leads her slowly aware from despair. This takes away Shonen Batís power over her.

Hope becomes a core idea in this episode. Misae lectures him, saying that he isnít truly helping these people. Instead, heís doing something far worse: heís giving people false hope. This drastic moment of trauma gives people a short delusion that their lives will be bettered for it. She makes a similar connection to the Maromi character, a soft, consoling voice that only offer fleeting, temporary hope that wonít last.



12 Radar Man

Maniwa concocts a skewed version of reality as he attempts to hunt down Shonen Bat on his own. He paints himself as a holy warrior, akin to Kozukaís delusion, but more in an urban, post-apocalyptic setting. When he talks to Misae, he gets the breakthrough he needs: Shonen Bat and Maromi are one and the same. As he looks into Tsukikoís past again, by jacking into the Internet, he discovers that she was assailed by a kid on roller-skates at a young age. Ikari and Tsukiko are assailed by Shonen Bat, but Maniwa staves him off. During the process Ikari and Tsukiko vanish into another world.

While this series has done some strange, unique things, I think this is the episode where it really sets the tone for the final arc. Maniwaís journey is a post-apocalyptic quest through the urban jungle of Tokyo. While the line between the fragile mind and reality have been somewhat divided, here they converge and blend in a way that finally gives us the true identity of Shonen Bat. For some, this reveal might come across as unsatisfying, but I think it works as the potency of Shonen Bat as an idea.



13 The Final Episode

Ikara and Tsukiko find themselves in an old, idyllic version of Tokyo. First off, the animation for this world is gorgeous. Ikara and Tuskiko animate regularly, but everyone else has stick-puppet style movement and the centuries old Tokyo art style is magnificent. The world tempts both the characters to embrace the fantasy that theyíve wanted to live in for so long and itís both beautiful and sad to see how that plays out. Throughout their ventures in this world, reality tries to reach out to them. Maniwa appears on a television relaying a message and Misae shows up as a waitress desperately calling for her husband to return.

In this world, the origins of Shonen Bat is fully developed. Tsukiko made up the assailant to explain the accidental death of her pet dog, Maromi, when she was a child. Ikari smashes this illusionary world and Tsukiko accepts the responsibility of her actions which is finally able to extinguish Shonen Bat from the world. However, during this process, Shonen Bat and Maromi battle in the city of Tokyo, ravaging most of the land. The show flashes two years forward as the damage is repaired, people go about living their lives. The final scene is Maniwa doing an equation in chalk, as he reaches the answer, he gasps.

This conclusion becomes a battleground over the illusions we make to comfort ourselves. As Shonen Bat and Maromi battle, they encapsulate two separately unhealthy approaches to how we deal with pain and trauma: we either temporarily comfort ourselves with shallow affirmations or we craft a monstrous antagonist that sadistically preys upon us. While there might be glimmers of truth in both, theyíre taking to unhealthy extremes that prove not only destructive to ourselves, but potentially devastating to others as these ideas perpetuate and grow. It is only through the balance of accepting the reality of events and taking responsibility for our acts that we are able to reach reconciliation.